Important Watches, Collector's Wrist...

Hong Kong, Jun 08, 2001

LOT 368

John Nicasius in St. Martins, circa 1660.Fine gilt metal and rock crystal, pre-balance spring, single-hand pendant watch in form of a cross.

HKD 55,000 - 70,000

USD 7,000 - 9,000

Sold: HKD 55,200

C. Two-body, ?fermée? type, formed rock crystal back and front mounted in hinged gilt metal, the bezels decorated with a repeated pattern, swivel ?tulip? pendant, loose ring, small finial. D. Gilt metal, entirely engraved, circular hour chapter with Roman numerals in the center. M. Cross-shaped, 44 x 35 mm, hinged gilded full plate, turned vase pillars, fusee and gut, short train, verge escapement, two-arm iron circular foliot, irregular pinned cock pierced and engraved with a wild strawberry patern, wheel and click mainspring set-up of unusual design.Signed on the back plate.Dim. 66 x 42 mm.

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Grading System
Grade: AAA


Case: 3 - 22
Movement: 3*


Overhaul recommended, at buyer's expense

Dial: 3 - 21 - 01


John NicasiusA master watchmaker working in London, he was a colorful character. In the minutes of the Clockmaker's Company, of which he became free in 1632, we find references to him such as: ?Considering his usual temper??. He became a master in 1653 and was active until 1679. Of the few watches made by him that have survived, three, including this one, are in rock crystal, one being in the Guildhall Museum Collection. This Lot appears to be his only surviving rock crystal cross watch. English watches fromthe first three quarters of the seventeenth century are very rare. The British, had not as yet developed their own style and their production was based on that of the continent. It was on the shoulders of horologists like Nicasius that great watchmakers such as Tompion stood, leading to the development of a new style of watch.